Monday, 25 May 2009

The Angel of _________________

The Angel of ______________

Nexis Pas
© 2009 by the author
Nexis Pas asserts to moral right to be identified as the author of this work.

Basic idea. An angel on a mission to destroy a demon. Demon is tempting humans and angel is out to prevent that. Not an epic battle, however, contest has to be over something simple and everyday. Trivial and banal.

Title: The Angel of Golders Green? Ok, but haven’t been there in years. Check to see if there is a website or Google Earth street views. Probably better not to use an actual location, will just get more emails from doryphores about my errors. The Angel of Grantham Green? Is there a Grantham Green? Oops--lots of them. No wonder name was familiar. Granmer Green? Too close to Grammar? Grandmere? Graston Green? Now I’m stuck on Something Green. Could get something else but then would have to re-envision opening scene of discovery in park. Use what I remember of Golders Green Park but give it some other name.

The Angel: terrifying, can’t be modern wishy-washy saint. Needs to be warrior angel. Apparently amoral, indifferent at first, but open to temptation. (What would tempt an angel? Money is irrelevant. Sex implausible. Power? The prospect of doing good? Has to choose between defeating the demon and saving the world? An angel would be tempted by an opportunity of doing good.) Both angel and demon immortal, so defeat has to involve destruction of who they are, rather than death.

The Demon: Like Paul this morning. Foul mood. Demon has wings, so fowl mood? Don’t go there. Demon has taken on human guise. Attractive. Personable. Tempter.

Opening: discovery of angel’s wings. From human perspective. Why would angel leave wings behind? Who would discover wings? A grounds man would be the first person in the park in the morning. Discoverer parallels the sort of person who is object of demon’s temptations. Joined by someone—boss?—who is more demonic. Beginning implants suggestion of angel vs. demon through the two workers. Wings near some place that suggests a contest, a game.

They found the angel’s wings in __________ Green Park, near the tennis courts. The grounds men had arrived at 6:00 to prepare the park to open. Bob Liskom, who began each morning by redrawing the lines on the grass courts, was the first to see the wings. He thought it was a new sculpture. The tops of the wings rose about six feet into the air, even with lower ends bent flat against the ground. The two wings were connected halfway up by an arched, bone-like structure. His first impression was that the feathers on the sculpture were incredibly detailed and lifelike. It wasn’t until he stepped closer and touched them that he realized that the wings were indeed made of feathers.{less description of wings and more focus on L’s reaction to them}

Bob found that he enjoyed touching the feathers. They were silky and smooth beneath his fingers. They smelled fresh. It wasn’t a perfume, just a scent of cleanliness in the air. The air whispered with a faint musical harmony as he stroked the wings. More here to make him a sympathetic character, drawn to good (wings = sign of goodness). Wings make him think of his family? Rings wife on his mobile and tells her to bring the children over to see them?

‘What the bloody hell is that? Who put that here? If this is your idea of a joke, Bob Liskom, you can take that ruddy thing out of here. And you can take yourself out of here as well.’ The head ground man’s shout could be heard from a hundred feet off. Mr William ‘Bull’ Garret charged down the hill from the animal pens for the children’s petting zoo, his stubby legs windmilling, a fist pummelling the air. {nasty man, prone to anger, provokes others to reproduce his own behaviour}

His shouts attracted the attention of several other workers, and soon the wings were surrounded by a crowd. ‘They were here when I got here,” Bob explained to everyone who would listen. ‘Someone must have climbed over the fence and left them here.’ {need more interaction between the two men here. When Garret discovers the wings are real feathers, he tries to remove them. He doesn’t react to them in the same way the others do. No sense of wonder, no attraction to them.}

{much of the following will appear later in the story, if at all. Toward the end, when the angel returns to repossess his wings. Just background for me for now. But move more quickly to angel here}There was much speculation about the wings over the next several weeks. The television crews arrived with their cameras and reporters, and spoke with Bull Garret and Bob Liskom. The morning talk show hosts interviewed scientists and ornithologists. Websites were devoted to the subject of the wings. No one had an answer. ‘A sign of the end of the world.’ ‘An alien being.’ ‘A freak of nature.’ ‘A monster.’ ‘An elaborate hoax.’

The wings began to attract large crowds. Lines of sightseers formed daily from the gate on Park Hill Road to the wings. A path was quickly beaten over the once-immaculate grass of the park, and the ground was churned into mud. The park filled with litter, discarded food wrappers, cigarette butts. Oddly, however, the wings remained immaculate, no matter how many children with grubby hands touched them, no matter how many . . .

The scientists complained that their studies of the wings were being interrupted. The tennis players grumbled they couldn’t get to the courts, and a petition was circulated to have the wings moved, ‘to a safer location’ said the scientists, ‘out of here’ said the tennis players. The local council looked into the matter, sent a committee to investigate, and decided that the wings would be moved to the ___________ Green museum.

On the day appointed for the move, the lorry arrived early in the morning. The crew readied their winches and the cart. They wrapped the wings in padded blankets and tied them securely. The foreman looped a chain around the central arch of the wings. The winch man slowly began turning the drum of the winch.

A sigh rustled the leaves of the trees. The blankets fell to the ground, and the links of the chain dissolved. After several attempts, the workers gave up and reported back that the wings would not be moved. Over the next week, other means were tried, but to no avail.

Finally the council concluded that the wings could not be moved. The path was paved and a pavilion was built over the wings. A low fence was erected to keep visitors from touching the wings, and guards were hired to discourage the curious. Public access was restricted to the afternoon to allow the scientists to conduct their researches. A larger wall was built to direct the crowds away from the tennis courts.

{move this bit earlier}
The angel did not expect to be gone long. In celestial reckoning, his mission should have taken only a few moments. When he wasn’t flying around heaven, the wings were an encumbrance, and the out-of-the-way spot behind the tennis courts in the deserted park had seemed the best place to leave them. It was but a second’s work to shrug them off and stride forth clothed only in the uncreated light.{Is this a plausible reason for leaving wings. Will anyone know what the uncreated light is?} Anyone on the streets of Whatever Green at that hour of the morning would have sensed only an odd tremor in the air, a shimmering at the edge of one’s eyes.

The angel was not one of the benevolent orders of angels. He was one of the avengers, a member of the fiery troop who had barred the gates of Eden when Adam and Eve were expelled. A terrible angel. A bringer of plagues and locusts. Of death and destruction. {has to be a terrifying figure. Almost demonic in his majesty. The demon and the angel are closer to each other than to human beings}


‘Hello. Can I come in? I heard you pacing about and I thought it might be all right to interrupt.’

‘Sure. I need a break. I’m just sketching out a new story. How are you doing? Are you feeling better?’

‘Yeah. Look, um, I’m sorry about this morning. I didn’t mean to shout at you like that.’

‘Well, I was a bit put off at first. I know I’m more cheerful than you in the morning and I can be annoying, but it was an overreaction to the provocation. Then after you left, and I calmed down, I thought about it and realised that my perkiness wasn’t the real cause of your anger. In any case, I gave as good as I was getting.’

‘Yes, you did. In fact, I would say you gave better than you were getting.’

‘Hey, I work with words. You’re never going to win an argument with me.’

‘Oh, I’ve won a few. Just not with words.’

‘Well, you have an unfair advantage, what with that sexy body of yours, and the way you always smell of chocolate. I can’t resist either. The temptation is too great. And what are you hiding behind your back?’

‘I brought you a treat as a peace offering. It’s an idea I had this morning. It’s a triple espresso butter cream rolled in hazelnut grenache and covered with dark chocolate. Now that it’s getting colder, I thought something more substantial and stronger flavoured would sell well in the shop.’

‘Oh, that sounds so sinful. Two of my favourites—coffee and chocolate.’

‘I know. I was thinking of you when the idea came to me. Here, taste it.’


‘So what do you think?’

‘That was a moan of pleasure.’

‘But more restrained than your usual moans of pleasure.’

‘Those moans have other causes. But, then, all my moans of pleasures are caused by you, come to think of it. Let me try again. Mmmmmmmmmmmmh.’

‘That good?’

‘That good! It will be another winner. Can I have another? After this morning, you owe me more than one chocolate.’

‘Not now. You’ll get fat.’

‘Why did I have to take up with a chocolatier who is concerned about my weight?’

‘One chocolate a day is healthy, two are fattening.’

‘If I were writing this scene up, at this point I would have the character heave an enormous sigh of disappointment. And you would be the evil tempter. “Have a chocolate, my dear. But just the one.” Lust, gluttony, avarice—three deadly sins for the price of one chocolate. Soooooo—what was the real cause of the outburst this morning? Do you want to talk about it?’

‘Oh, I’m worried about the shop. With the economy and all, it’s not doing well. People are more cautious about spending. If they want chocolates, they can buy something cheaper.’

‘How bad are things?’

‘I may have to let one of the women who works at the counter go. I can’t let Marcy or Dev leave, because there have to be three of us to make enough chocolates to keep the shop going.’

‘I could help out. I’m as capable of waiting on customers as the average school-leaver. And you could pay me in chocolates.’

‘You have your own work. And you would eat more in chocolates than the hourly rate for counter help.’

‘Hmm. Curses. Foiled again. You’re getting to know me too well.’

‘Maybe. I was thinking about it. Maybe that was one of the causes of my outburst this morning.’


‘That I know I can get mad and have an argument with you and not risk having you run away. Not all the time, but occasionally I can let off steam with you, and then we can make up and it will be better.’

‘You mean that it’s safe for the two of us to argue sometimes.’

‘Yeah. I shouldn’t do it. But I felt a lot better this morning after I stormed out of here. I was a lot calmer and I could think about the future without feeling sick.’

‘So are you saying that we should have blow-ups from time to time? We could also talk about our problems, you know.’

‘I know. But it felt good to shout. And you’ve done the same thing to me.’


‘Yes, remember that time you were having all the problems with that editor who was changing one of your stories. You were very irritable for a week.’

‘Oh, that. Yes, well, there was that. I was also channelling one of the characters in the story and he was a very angry man.’

‘That’s what makes it exciting to live with you. I never know who is going to be here when I get home.’

‘Do I do that often? Acting out one of my characters?’


‘Well, I’m no saint, am I?

‘No, but then I’m not either. And we’re neither of us devils. And now I should let you get back to your work. How’s it coming.’

‘I’m just getting started with this one. I’m still roughing it in. It’s about an angel who’s come to earth on a mission.’

‘Oh, it’s autobiographical then. I thought you had a rule against writing about yourself.’


‘Mmmm. Your lips taste of chocolate. If I’m any judge, it’s 92 percent dark Madagascar chocolate. One of my favourites. We’ll make time for more taste tests later. You have to get back to work. Supper in about three hours?’


The angel was not one of the benevolent orders of angels. He was one of the avengers, a member of the fiery troop who had barred the gates of Eden when Adam and Eve were expelled. A terrible angel. A bringer of plagues and locusts. Of death and destruction. {has to be a terrifying figure. Almost demonic in his majesty. The demon and the angel are closer to each other than to human beings}

The angel is a member of one of the benevolent orders. He discovers someone who lives in the shadow of grace and makes love to him. They live together for the human’s lifetime. Then the angel recovers his wings and leaves. ‘In the Grace of Shadows’--maybe that for a title?